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OKC Extends Mask Mandate; Gov. Stitt Maintains Containing Spread Rests On Personal Responsibility

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Gov. Kevin Stitt provide COVID-19 update on 9/1/2020
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State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Gov. Kevin Stitt provide COVID-19 update on 9/1/2020

Mask mandates continue to be top of mind for Oklahoma officials. StateImpact’s Catherine Sweeney reports that as one city council voted to extend theirs, other officials maintained that containing the spread should rest on personal responsibility.

 

On Tuesday morning, the Oklahoma City city council voted 6-3 to extend its mask mandate until at least October 20th. 

Meanwhile, about 60 miles away, top Oklahoma officials provided a COVID-19 update from Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus. 

Governor Kevin Stitt said health officials issued mask recommendations to communities with high spread, such as Oklahoma City and Tulsa. And as people started wearing masks, case counts went down.

 

However, he and Interim Commissioner of Health Lance Frye warned against statewide mandates, saying that requiring them in areas with low incidence of the virus would be unreasonable. 

"If there was anything somebody could do," Stitt said, "to snap their fingers to make the cases go down to zero, we would do that all across the United States. But it comes down to personal responsibility."

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister lamented that many districts aren’t requiring masks in schools, noting that the density within those buildings can accelerate spread and that more than 100 districts have confirmed cases already.

 

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

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